Page One

Deal struck in sex slave case

The Associated Press
Monday March 05, 2001

The landlord accused of smuggling teen-age girls from India for sex and cheap labor has apparently struck a deal with federal prosecutors and will plead guilty to some charges Monday. 

In court papers filed yesterday, prosecutors told a federal judge in Oakland that three of five defendants in the globe-spanning case will enter pleas. One of those men is Berkeley landlord Lakireddy Bali Reddy. 

The 63-year-old Reddy was arrested in January, 2000, and charged with illegally bringing three teen-age girls to the United States from his home village of Velvadam in India. 

Two of the girls have said they worked in Reddy’s Berkeley restaurant but were kept in a nearby apartment where Reddy allegedly went to have sex with them. The case broke when Chanti Prattipati, 17, was found dead in November 1999 after she suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in an apartment owned by Reddy. The other two girls turned in Reddy. 

Authorities later arrested his sons, Vijay Kumar Lakireddy, 31, of Berkeley and Prasad Lakireddy, 42, of Lafayette, and the landlord’s brother, Jayaprakash Lakireddy, 47, of Oakland, and Annapurna Lakireddy, 46, Jayaprakash Lakireddy’s wife. 

They all are charged with conspiring to illegally bring immigrants from India on fraudulent work visas since 1986. All are free on bail. Prosecutors say the landlord’s wife and brother will also plead guilty. His two sons will not. 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed in the court papers.